For the last three years, our friends down in Pulaski have put blood, sweat and tears into creating a mountain bike trail system on Draper Mountain.
Draper Mountain, named for John Draper and his family, is situated south of the Town of Pulaski. The terrain is steep, rising up from the Town to the Draper Mountain Overlook that provides expansive vistas of the nearby mountain ranges and valleys.
The Town of Pulaski owns much of the north side of the Mountain and has opened the area up for mountain bike trail construction. Since 2009, a group of dedicated cyclists have been out there with fire rakes, chain saws, pry bars and Pulaski axes, chiseling out a trail that winds back and forth in an effort to make the climb up the mountain accessible. The core group, who has invested several years of sweat equity, includes Don Singleton, Dave Kinder, Gene Holt, Randy Ward, Mike McMillion. Support has come from other groups that deserve an honorable mention, including Josh Witherspoon and his Eagle Scout troops as well as the Department of Forestry.
Work is on-going to improve the initial trail and to create new spurs. Singleton says, “currently there is only one main trail but the potential for offshoots are unlimited; those optional loops have not been worked out as of yet.” Dave Kinder gives us a preview of the trail in the above video.
Describing the trail’s difficulty, Don Singleton states “right now the trail is very technical and certainly not for the beginner, but as we learn more about what is needed to make it better, we are dealing with it.” Kinder adds “much of the work has been done on off-season days not suitable for riding, which offered us a chance to still spend time with cycling friends. It's a nice experience to work on trails that seem so remote but a really just a mile or two from town.” Efforts should to expand the trail will begin again in earnest as fall arrives.
The trail and the proposed spurs have not officially been named yet, but the trail builders have their own monikers like Cotton Candy, Rock Garden, The Saddle, and Dragon Tooth. Singleton says “those names have meaning to us and when we speak of them, we know where they are." The NRVBA donated $600 to the Town, and according to John Hawley, Pulaski Town Manager, the Town plans on using part of this money for signing the access points and the trail markers this winter.
If you want to ride the trail, you can access the area via two points. Parking is available at Pulaski Bikes, owned by McMillion, and located at the Pulaski Train Depot. Ride up Valley Road just past the church where the access trail is on your left. McMillion has printed instructions on how to get there. The second access point is from the North Side Overlook where you can park and ride or walk down the trail.
If you would like to volunteer time to trail building, please contact Don Singleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.